Interview with Owen Lach, Author of Founder’s Mercy

23 Mar 2022

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Founder’s Mercy?

I’ve wanted to write a story like Founder’s Mercy for a long time. I’ve been a sci-fi and fantasy fan since I was a kid, and I’ve always played around with different story ideas in my head. Founder’s Mercy grew out of an idea to tell a coming-of-age story for a queer character who’d today’s society would consider marginalized in an environment where they’re mostly free to be who they are. It was important to have the main character’s queerness be part of who they are without it being the story itself.

If you had to pick theme songs for the main characters of Founder’s Mercy, what would they be?

Oh wow, this is a hard one. Adan’s (the main character) theme song would probably be Real by JO1. Or maybe Greedy from Ariana Grande.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I read sci-fi and fantasy almost exclusively. Sometimes Young Adult/New Adult, but always speculative fiction. Founder’s Mercy is my first novel and my first Young Adult sci-fi story. But I’ve written scripts and screenplays that were more general fiction.

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m reading Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders right now. I love my tender space queers! Next up is probably A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers and Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

The scene I enjoyed writing the most was in the first chapter, where the main character Adan and his best friend Bo go out and walk around the neighborhood. It’s where I first set the scene of the story’s primary location, and it was so much fun giving the readers their first taste of the book’s setting.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

I like listening to music while I write. I wrote Founder’s Mercy listening to a playlist I made of songs from the Japanese boy band JO1.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Write what you love because you’re gonna end up reading it a hundred times before it’s finished.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

The main character wrestles with a lot of moral decisions that he’s not necessarily prepared to make. And it’s easy to go back and second guess all those. But it’s better just to make the best choices we can, accept the consequences, and learn as we go.


Owen Lach is the author of the new book Founder’s Mercy

Connect with Owen Lach

Author Site


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